Pittsburgh’s River’s Casino has decided it doesn’t want to get into online gambling after all — at least right now. The news was announced on Thursday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as they revealed that three additional online gambling licenses would become available as a result of the news.
The withdrawal of the Rivers Casino now leaves a total of 10 online gambling licenses up for grabs, which were recently made available to so-called qualified gaming entities, located outside of Pennsylvania. The first 29 licenses for online gambling have been snatched up by PA casinos over the last few months.
Licenses are available at $4 million each in the following categories:
- 4 online poker licenses
- 3 online slot licenses
- 3 online table licenses
What’s next for PA online gambling QGEs?
With 7 online gambling licenses unclaimed — which is now the with Rivers Casino’s departure — the PGCB decided to open up applications to qualified gaming entities (QGE) in mid-September for an opportunity to participate in the burgeoning PA online gambling market.
QGEs, which are available to licensed gambling operators in other jurisdictions that are in good standing, will have from October 15th to October 30th to make their interest in online gambling in PA known. The PGCB will then publish a list of qualified candidates before a public drawing takes place sometime in early November.
Why did Rivers Casino withdraw?
Rivers Casino was one of original nine casinos to apply for online gambling in mid-July. But something happened in the meantime to cause them to withdraw. So what was it?
It might have something to do with SugarHouse, which is owned by the same parent company as Rivers Casino — Rush Street Interactive. SugarHouse was approved for a comprehensive online gambling license in mid-September. By focusing on SugerHouse for online gambling, Rush Street Interactive can save $10 million in license fees.
Despite its application withdrawal, the Pittsburgh-based casino did say it was still interested in online gambling for Rivers Casino. For now, they will monitor the market and see how the SugarHouse performs after launching. The Rivers Casino will also be focusing on sports betting, which they applied for just last week.